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Meet Tang , A abstract street photographer

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

- By Anshul Raj Khurana

Street photography is going through an evolution, and in all the fundamentals of layers & composition, there is an abstract way of going about it. Tang is one a kind of street photographer, who flirts with the edge of street photography and get us something absolutely enriching. Recently been shortlisted as one of the emerging street photographers of 2019 @streetphotomilano.

Anshul- Tell us something about yourself, Tang?

Tang- Hi, I’m Tang Tawanwad Wanavit. I’m currently 27 years old, working as a cinematographer in Thailand, but I fell in love with photography. I’ve been shooting street photography for 2 years now. My parents are artists, so they love it when I do something art-related, I’m thrilled to do something that they’re proud of.

Anshul- What does photography mean to you?

Tang- Photography is my playground, I shoot both streets and on-street photos. With street photos, I tend to react mostly, I don’t think before I go out and shoot, almost every shot that I like comes from luck, and I just happen to respond to it at that moment. They’re my channel of releasing energy since my career sometimes can make me do things I don’t want to do repetitively.

Anshul- You have a very different style and experiment a lot with Flash. Can you define it more?

Tang- I treat my flash photography as the lighting in film, figuring out the effect of it from different directions, different softness, different power, multiple flashes, they’re very entertaining for me.

Anshul- What is street photography for you, and do you think it is losing its touch?

Tang- Street Photography is my playground, as I mentioned earlier, I get into it first because it was cool, and I wanted to be cool, but then I became less interested in being cool because that stuff just makes you feel bad about yourself afterward. I start to enjoy the freedom it offers, I can basically do anything I feel like. Just 2 rules, no staging, public space only. I don’t think it can lose it’s touch when you apply these 2 rules to it. Anyone can do anything if it’s right, it’s good regardless of the technique they use, if it’s not so good, then it’s the picture itself that shows.

Anshul- What goes in your mind when you are making a frame? What's your thought process?

Tang- I mostly look at everything around me first until I find something I like. I then look for how I make it stand out by applying the figure to ground law if the subject is dark, I try to place him/her/it against a light background, and the other way around. (I’m obsessed with a figure to ground, it really helps to lead the eye for me.) Then I find other elements in the frame to make the scene connect. Usually, it’s about finding similarities in colors and lights.

Anshul- Tell us something about your gear. What's your favorite focal length.

Tang- Over the past year, I used Panasonic Lumix GX9 and Lumix GX85 with Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7. For flashes, I use many brands mix together, usually from 2-4 flashes at once.

Anshul- There are a few photographers who experiment with flash, how do you use it?

Tang- I love everyone who experiments with the pictures, I find it so eye-opening. I learn from Trent Parke’s books a lot. Honestly, I learn from copying, I try to duplicate photos I like, but since it’s not possible to copy 100% of the original, the mistakes I make always open up new paths for me. My geese picture was actually Gavin Bragdon’s idea, I’m not very proud of this, but from that picture, I learned so much about the flash-photograph, and it unlocks much more understanding from it, so it’s a significant photo for me. I use multiple flashes because I saw Barry Talis’s works and I did have a phase of trying to copy him, but couldn’t do it, instead, it introduced me to another way to use multiple flashes.

Anshul- What inspires you to keep shooting? Any specific photographers, books, etc.?

Tang- Right now, the thing that makes me keep on the shooting is curiosity and fun. I always have the classic what-if question, and that always makes everything fun.

Anshul- Have you ever gone through a creative block, if yes, how have you managed it?

Tang- I have, but only for a week so far, but I’ve only been shooting for 2 years, so I wouldn’t count it as a block.

Anshul- What advice you will give to the newcomers on approaching photography?

Tang- I feel like I’m still very new too, but if there’s some advice I can give, it has to be about managing your emotion toward the attention people provide you. There was a period where I got so much attention, and I was obsessed with it. I become greedy. Always be aware of what’s going on in your path, and appreciate what you have in the present time.

You can see more of Tang's work here.


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